***We are not, in any way, shape, form, or fashion affiliated with the blog For the Love of Blogs and we want y’all to know that, first and foremost. It seems that there’s a contingency of people on the internet who suspect us of being copycats and we hope y’all know that’s just not who we are. Because we believe in our own integrity, and because we know who we are and what we’re about, AND BECAUSE WE LOVE BLOGGING we’re going forward with our blog week and we hope you’ll stick around with us. I mean, we’re all in this together, right?***
I’ve been ready for this since Katie and I kicked it around in email last week. Seriously. I’m excited about the awesome things we’re planning to bring to y’all this week.
The first of which is this
not snazzy little banner-y thing.
(Seriously. If anyone knows how I can get GIMP files to NOT get fuzzy and/or pixely, I’m all ears. This week is, after all, about educating each other. Hook a sister up, would you?)
This week is about forging connections with our community of readers. That means YOU. We WANT to get to know YOU. And we want you to know us. And? Because it’s what we do? We have a few tips and tricks to share along the way.
Today is Meet Me Monday!
Hi! I’m Miranda. I’m not a Super Mom. Not even a little bit. I’m a PPD/A survivor Mama with an adorably cute curly-haired boy and an awesome husband who somehow manages to put up with me. I teach. I write. I coach. I wear a lot of hats. That’s me in a nutshell.
Today, I’m going to take you on a tour through the technical aspects of getting to know your readers and letting them get to know you. 🙂 Stick around because we’re going to play a little game at the end!
Some of you probably come and read the posts (or you read the blog through a reader, or email, both of which I’ll get to in a minute!) and never click around and see what else there is.
Grab a glass of sweet tea and some e-cookies and let’s go for a stroll.
Right now, you’re on what’s considered the “home” page of the blog, so let’s go down the column to the right.
The first thing you’ll come to in scrolling down the blog is the “Connect With Me” space. Here you can subscribe to the RSS feed for the blog, connect with NSJM on Facebook, or Tweet with me. Go ahead! Try one! Or two! Or all three!
If you’re a new blogger, social media is your friend! Facebook links to your posts and share them with friends, or create a Fan Page for your blog and start sharing! Tweet links to your posts (though not too much or people think you’re all spammy…and not in the good, spiced-canned-ham-fried-up-with-some-cheese kind of way.) Connect Facebook and Twitter and then you can kill two birds with one stone and Tweet and Facebook at the same time!
Connect with people and people will read!
But wait, Miranda…what’s an RSS feed? you ask? Well, I’m glad you did.
The RSS feed is a way to deliver your blog posts to people so that they can read without having to come to your blog. If you subscribe to the RSS feed, you need a reader. With a reader (like Google Reader, for example) you can manage several blogs that you like to read in one place. It’s like a DVR for blogging!
Another way to deliver your blog posts to people is by allowing them to subscribe by email. At this moment, I think I have about 10 people subscribed by email. And two of them are Dan and me.
(::sidenote:: It’s always a good idea to test out whatever feature you set up by subscribing to it yourself just to make sure it works!)
Why the email subscriptions? People with limited internet access throughout the day can still stay up-to-date with the goings on in your bloggy life when they can get your posts delivered to their inbox. It comes in just like a regular email (though sometimes pictures and videos are disabled and/or don’t make it…bummer) and readers can read and forward it on to people they think might enjoy it.
All of these things (Facebook, Twitter, RSS, and email) expand your reach! They give you greater opportunities to connect with your readers and their friends and their friends’ friends and the rest of the Universe. Thus, you build a community!
Below the email subscription link are my sponsors. These are people who believe in me and my goals here. I’m also proud to say I believe in them, too. All of them are people I consider friends. I’m lucky to know such wonderful people.
Before I go gettin’ all verklempt about these awesome people, let’s keep moving, shall we?
In the interest of time, I’m going to skip around a bit and jump to the top of the blog. The tabs.
Tabs are awesome. They allow you to share extra information with your audience without having to use a blog post to do it. They also allow you to archive particularly special or important posts for quick reference.
- About Me–Uhh…self-explanatory? I just updated this last night, so go tell me what you think!
- PPD/A Resources–If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know I’m a survivor. As such, this is near and dear to my heart and gets its own place around here.
- Best of...–I use this page to highlight some of my favorite posts. I really need to update because there’s been some great stuff lately (if I do say so myself, that is)!
- Snapshots–This is the feed of my Tumblr blog. Yes. Another blog. This is my 365 blog. ANOTHER project I’ve taken on. Because I’m a glutton for punishment. Or crazy. Or awesome. Or a combination of all of the above.
- Blogs I Love–This tab houses the blog buttons of some (but not all) of the blogs I read regularly. I need to go in an update this a little further as some of this has changed since I’ve gotten more adept at using the Google reader to organize my blogs.
- PR and Contact Info–Is exactly what it sounds like. This is how companies interested in working with me can get in touch with me. It’s also how people who want to send me love letters or hate mail can do so. (Please don’t actually send me hate mail. My heart is soft and I. Will. Cry.)
Remember how we were talking about expanding your reach? Another way to do that is coming up reeeeeaaaalllll quick!
Let people share your posts by adding Tweet and Like buttons to your blog, like the ones I have right below here. Go ahead…click one of them! Try it out! See how easy it is! Then add them to your blog and see if you don’t get a little shiver every time you see that the number of people who’ve Tweeted and/or Liked your post goes up. You so will! Promise.
Those little Tweet and Like me buttons bring me to what is quite possibly the most important part of building a community with your readers–Comments.
Comments are important. They let the blogger know you’re reading. They are a way for you to have a conversation. To offer support, advice, encouragement, and sometimes, constructive criticism. More importantly, they are a way for the blogger to converse WITH YOU.
I installed a third-party comment program, Disqus, to my blog so that I could reply directly on the blog to those leaving comments. Occasionally, I reply privately via email. But I like that I have the option. I like that there is a conversation happening here. That we are all included in this conversation. I’m not up here looking for you to praise me and give me Attagirls all the time. (Really.) I’m looking to have a chat with a friend!
So, if you’re lurking, or reading in a reader and never clicking through, LEAVE A COMMENT! Introduce yourself! I want to get to know you!
Your “assignment” for today?
Leave a comment and answer the following questions:
1. What new thing have you learned today, about blogging, life, etc? Share with me!
2. Are you a dog person or a cat person?
3. Do you prefer RSS or Email?
4. Chicken or the egg?
Let me meet you!